By Tiffany Samuels
The following remarks were given at the April 10 Northwest Metro Legislative Action in Plymouth, MN.
My name is Tiffany Samuels, and I know Beacon because I was a guest through Families Moving Forward.
Being homeless was incredibly difficult. Reason being it came so unexpectedly and it was during a hurtful time in my life. Every day, looking at my children and my granddaughter is what gave me strength when I honestly didn’t want to have it. To be honest, it was not our first time being homeless, yet it was the first time where it caught us so off guard. I had promised myself in the past I would never allow my children to face that type of situation again; yet it occurred. Though I tried not to show it, I was heavily disappointed in myself and needed the strength of the Lord to help me through.
While doing my best during the months to stay focused and encouraged, there were times I absolutely thought I would not find a home I could afford on my salary. At the time, I did not have transportation, which was a limitation when it came to working on a job and being able to work the necessary hours it would take to bring in a decent income to afford any of the rental properties in the area. I thought about attempting to buy a car first before trying to find a home because decent housing was out of my budget. Fortunately, the grace of God was shown to me and a rental property opened at the last minute in Savage. I had an amazing boss who gave me a slight promotion which gave me $1.25 pay raise which assisted in me having enough monthly income to get approved for the townhouse in Savage.
No one could possibly understand unless you have been there how it feels to have been without the necessities in life such as a stable home. The day I received a phone call about being approved I was at work – I jumped up out of my seat in the break room and ran outside to cry and give God praise. He had answered my prayer and words cannot express how grateful I was to finally be given the opportunity again to provide stable housing for my family. For months, I would walk around my home just telling God thank you and being determined to be a good steward of this home and not to enter into that situation ever again.
The day I received a phone call about being approved I was at work – I jumped up out of my seat in the break room and ran outside to cry and give God praise.
I believe it is very important everyone has an opportunity to have access to an affordable home. The problem comes in when there isn’t an opportunity in the surrounding area, or whenever opportunities do open the waitlist is so long families end up feeling stuck and at times defeated. When the opportunities are not available it can cause more pressures and stress to be placed on these families; gaining housing or at least having an opportunity to do so, should not be a barrier families face. Families have enough to deal with and handle. My hope is that by having this amazing opportunity to share my story and my perspective of what affordable housing could do for families means we decide that more homes can and will be built. I believe we need these affordable homes now, and I’m ready to assist as needed to make these things happen!